The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday that the classified documents detailing National Security Agency bulk surveillance programs leaked by Edward Snowden are now available publicly online.
ACLU’s searchable database located in a subsection of the organization’s website contains more than 200 documents dating back to 1986, and includes everything from secret Foreign intelligence Surveillance Court orders to memos from high-ranking government officials like former secretary of state under George W. Bush John Ashcroft, The Verge reports.
“The fact is that most of the documents contained in this database should have never been secret in the first place,” the ACLU said in its announcement of the published documents. “Now, with newfound access to these records, we can educate ourselves about the true nature and scope of government surveillance in its many forms. This database will serve as a critical tool with which we will hold our government accountable.”
The database also includes the now-legendary powerpoint slides detailing the highly classified PRISM bulk Internet surveillance program — the information from which made the first major national headlines about the controversial NSA programs from The Guardian and Washington Post reports.
Documents are explorable through various filters including the type surveillance and authority that ordered it. All of the documents are completed in plain text, and the ACLU plans to continue updating the database as more documents are released.
According to Guardian sources, the vast majority of documents leaked by Snowden have yet to be released.